Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fungi & Other Misc. Nature

On our nature walk yesterday, we saw dozens of fungi. Recent rains have caused an explosion of them all over the place. Here is an example of one we saw called a Gymnopus dryophilus. Fancy, you say! Well, yes, but I only know because this website told me. ;P

I love how mushrooms come in so many colors. There are wonderful bits of color in their shady world! Here are a couple more pictures of ones we saw:

This last picture is how you can take a mushroom and create a 'spore print'. You cut the stem off and lay the top, gill side down, on a piece of paper. Cover it with a jar or bowl and let sit for 24 hours. Ours is sitting under a bowl on the kitchen table right now. I'll let you know how it turns out.

We also collected some more tree seeds for Tigger. Has anyone done or seen a neat way of organizing tree seeds? I don't want to put them in their nature notebooks because some we have collected are quite large and fat. I'd like them to be on cards and labeled. Maybe just put them in a shoebox? Let me know if you've discovered any cool ways that aren't too complicated. *I* peter out when things get complicated.

Another cool thing we discovered yesterday was a snake skin. Tigger saw it under a little wooden bridge. (Yes, that meant he was hanging over the side upside down. LOL) He asked what 'that skin' was. I thought he meant the liner of the stream. He insisted I get down and hang over the bridge myself. So, like the good mother I am, I did it. I was just glad there was no one else around to see my rear in the air. When I saw what he was talking about, we fished it out with a stick. It had been caught on a rock in the water. We talked about how the snake grows and sheds it's old skin because he has a new one. I have no idea what kind of snake it was, maybe one day I'll figure it out.

After we did our exploring, we took snacks, drinks, blankets and our nature bag (filled with our sketchbooks, color pencils and HNS) and hit a nice resting spot. I read from the HNS about fungi and we all did a little sketch of the mushrooms we saw. Pooh did two of the brown mushrooms with all three of us in the picture. Tigger did an amazing job (the best he's done of a nature study) with his orangy-yellow mushrooms. Oh and that was his new color discovery of the day-orangy-yellow. ;D I did my sad job of the different colors I saw and then I did an adequate job of copying the diagram with labeling from HNS.

Oh and I almost forgot. The kids had passed me by, but I made an interesting little find. Chipmunks must have some type of mating call in the fall. I heard this repetitive noise in the brush. I thought it was a new bird I hadn't seen or maybe a strange sounding frog. (shows how much I know. LOL) But, no, it was a little chipmunk sitting on a dead tree trunk, using it's whole little body to make a fast, repetitive, throaty call. I can only assume he was calling his lady friend. Another thing to investigate. :)

It was a lovely afternoon. Perfect temps, nature and my kids. What more could you ask for?


live4evermom said...

I'll be posting soon of our wonderful hummingbird nature day.

We had a snake skin and posted about it on my blog a while back. Amazing how they shed and to see it up close.

Sounds like a great day for all of you.

The Glasers said...

Mushroom prints! What a cool thought! We have tons of mushrooms here right now . . .

lindafay said...

Thanks for sharing this link!